FORT WORTH — Every time Grandview came up with a big inning Saturday, Ponder found a way to scratch out a few runs to stay within striking distance.
One night earlier — in another tight game — the Lady Lions used a 10-run seventh inning to draw even with the Lady Zebras in their Class 2A Region II bi-district series, and the thought in the Ponder dugout was that it could happen again. Instead, Grandview got the late-inning push it needed — a four-run seventh — to win 12-6 in a decisive Game 3 at Saginaw Chisholm Trail.
Ponder (17-12) was eliminated from the playoffs, while Grandview (16-9-2) advances to play Caddo Mills in the area round. Caddo Mills swept Howe in its first-round series.
“We managed to hold them for some of those last few innings and we felt like we could have a chance in the end today, but that last inning got us,” Ponder coach Paige Wells said. “They did a good job not letting us get our hit streak going again, and we just couldn’t keep them off the bases.”
Grandview outhit the Lady Lions 13-10, with five of its hits going for extra bases, but much of Ponder’s demise can be chalked up to errors. The Lady Lions committed four — three over the final four innings — to give them 11 for the series.
Despite being helped out by errors, Grandview took just a two-run lead into the seventh before extending it to three runs on a Ponder error that set up an RBI double from Kenzie Promes. A sacrifice fly by Jobie Reeves and two-run single from Shelby Estep pushed the lead to 12-6.
Ponder started the series slow when it was held to four hits in a 6-2 loss on Thursday, but came on late Friday for an 11-3 win that cast some doubt on whether Grandview could put the series away in the clutch. The Lady Zebras built a five-run lead in the second inning Saturday only to see Ponder chip away and narrow the lead to 6-4.
Grandview extended its lead back to four with a two-run fourth. All three hits went for extra bases, including an RBI triple from Kasi Cummings, her second triple of the day. Ponder also had an error in the frame.
The Lady Lions rallied again to load the bases in the bottom half of the inning and scored two runs on a single by Andie Beer to trail 8-6.
Ponder pitcher Jessica Orozco shut the Lady Zebras down over the next two innings, but Lexi Meadows was just as dominant for Grandview. The junior — who was resilient throughout the series — settled down and didn’t allow a hit over the final three innings. She finished with six strikeouts despite giving up 10 hits through the first four innings.
Grandview 12, Ponder 6
WP — Lexi Meadows. LP — Jessica Orozco. 3B — G: Kasi Cummings (2). 2B — G: Lauren Starr, Lexi Meadows, Kenzie Promes. P: Andie Beer, Kara Parr. Records — Grandview 16-9-2; Ponder 17-12.